The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit, has urged licensees to take note of the lessons learned thus far in the market, warned of further government intervention, and cautioned operators of the line at which to stop when looking to gain market share.
René Jansen, chair of the Ksa, has issued the call after previous warnings that if operators “do not take sufficient responsibility, the government will at some point,” as well as stating that political patience on Dutch gambling advertisements “is very limited”.
“In the run-up to the opening of the legal online market, I said a few times publicly that I hoped that the legalisation of online games of chance in the Netherlands would be a textbook example,” a blog penned by Jansen reads.
“That other countries that take this step would say: look, the way it went in the Netherlands, that’s how we want it too. Unfortunately, we have to conclude that this was not entirely successful.”
This, the Ksa chair notes, is driven by the number of ads evidenced from online gambling providers, despite prior pleas for control and potential government intervention.
Subsequently, this has seen Franc Weerwind, Minister for Legal Protection, disclose measures that see role models in advertising no longer allowed. In the longer term, there will be a ban on untargeted advertising.
“In other respects, too, I have to conclude that games of chance providers are looking for the edges,” Jansen continues.
“To some extent I understand that. After all, this is a new market and entrants want to gain market share. But the understanding stops in case of violations. In recent months, the Ksa handed out a number of hits”
This, he states, includes an urge to stop advertising via social media during a football match, and intervening when odds are presented without it being clear that it was an advertisement.
Furthermore, the slew of official warnings has also seen the regulator commence an investigation into advertising, including bonus offers, that legal online gambling providers may send to minors and young adults (18-24 years old), an action that is prohibited.
“The mission of the Gaming Authority (Ksa) is ‘safe games,’” Jansen ends. “People who want to participate in a game of chance should be able to do so in a safe environment where they are assured of fair play and where they are protected from themselves if necessary.
“We expect responsible behaviour from licensed providers. Society can expect the Ksa to monitor this closely.”